Chiaroscuro

by Andy Livingston

Released 2017
Released 2017
Set to a piano and orchestra, this set of intimate songs examine the healing power that emotional light and darkness can bring in the wake of the dissolution of relationships, be they romantic, platonic, or divine.
  • 06:19 Story Lyrics
    Eulogy

    From dust to dust

    And one of us

    had better luck with faith

    so please hurry

    sorry

    I tried so hard to get it right

     

    And then it was just

    A picture of what used to be instead

    his dissolving calling,

    “you tried so hard to get it right”

    So please hurry. Sorry,

    we’re almost out of time

     

    oh, he loved to sing

    And he loved the way that

    winter melted into spring

    And oh, so many other things

    That I carry now for him

    And I will carry until he comes

    back again

     

    It was your ghost,

    holier than most,

    whose whisper kept me warm

    so please haunt me

    honey, I tried so hard to get it right

    then please hurry, sorry

    we’re almost out of time.

     

    oh, he loved to sing

    And he loved the way that

    winter melted into spring

    And oh, so many other things

    That I carry now for him

    And I will carry until he comes

    back again

     

    So please hurry

    Sorry; we almost had it right

  • 04:00 Story Lyrics
    Radio

    Agent 0

    ***paging Radio***

    Come in – I’ve made a mistake

    “This number’s disconnected, boy,

    please try your call again.”

    So I did.

    Sagittarius

    was busy perfecting his aim

    while I considered options.

    There’s one that still remains.

     

    I know you’re trying to break through

    I recognize the shape of your sound

    I swear that’s your signal

    humming on my wave

    Can you hear me?

    Can you hear me, Radio?

     

    Quite the trick,

    televangelist

    I almost believed it myself

    The violence of past tense

    said, “I used to know him well.”

    6EQ

    So, then was that you calling?

    Or somebody else?

    All signs point to absolution

    As far as I can tell

     

    Come in? All I hear is static

    Coming from the edge

    of my defense – sound the alarm, boy

    This is not a test, no,

    Can you hear me?

    Can you hear me, Radio?

  • 03:42 Story Lyrics
    Fine

    Going down. Enjoy the show.

    I meant to tell you, for what it’s worth.

    I think the sound was last to go

     

    All in all, it was not

    your typical funeral

    have it your way

     

    I admit this place is kind of messy

    but I think I could be here for a while

    so what use is trying to move forward anyway when you’re still on my mind

    everything is fine

     

    How about breakfast? I’ll make some eggs

    The forecast calls for storms today

    I know you hate it when it rains

     

    Order up, Gloria

    bullet proof my umbrella

    have it your way

     

    I admit this place is kind of messy

    but I think I could be here for a while

    so what use is trying to move forward anyway when you’re still on my mind

    and you’re still on my mind

    everything is fine

     

    going down did you enjoy the show

    I meant to tell you

  • 04:01 Story Lyrics
    Don't Make Me Pray

    Holy, sure, but

    one and only

    one could have been saved

    looking on as

    king takes pawn

    “That’s quite the god you’ve made,”

    he said.

    “Take my name in vain.”

    Please don’t make me pray

     

    One and done

    well, where I’m from

    that’s called a double play

    Blood and wine

    “What’s yours was mine”

    but only my blood stains

    like Cain’s

    “Yeah, thou mayest, babe.”

    Please don’t make me pray

     

    Oh, I take it all back

    I just want to be good, Dad

    Kneel and bow my head

    Amen and amen

    Oh, divine reprieve

    Give the gift of speaking

    Wash and raise my hands

    Amen and amen

     

    One more flood

    I was wide open

    long before you came

    please don’t make me pray

     

    Do you know

    that man? He knows

    the answers and my name

    please don’t make me pray

  • 04:50 Story Lyrics
    The Apple of My Eye

    So, what if I go back

    to believing in

    the difference between what is

    and what it could have been

    then I would be convinced

    that it was only him

    faking as I bled my way to bliss

    and I said you know

    I did it all for you

     

    Still, in his defense,

    he never could admit

    that I was a kaleidoscope

    dressed in the latest trend

    but beauty can’t forgive

    the cicatrix you left

    when you shaved every hair off of your chest

    for him and you know

    I did it all for you

    and I would do it all again

    In spite of knowing everything

    would come to the same end

    but it’s coming up roses and

    how could I resist a light like his?

    oh yeah, it’s twisted, isn’t it?

    And I said you know,

    oh I did it all for you

     

    Reminisce, but it

    was only in my head

    “A bargain at full price,” they said,

    “it’s the cost of admission.”

    But how could I forget

    that Simon never said

    to beg you with both hands behind my back

    and I said you know

    I did it all for you

    the apple of my eye

    the only one I ever loved

    the only one I left behind

  • 04:10 Story Lyrics
    Time and Time Again

    Time and time again, I knew you. Well,

    knew it was just a matter of time until

    I learned how to stand perfectly still

    waiting for your call.

    Well I’d say that’s a tall

    enough order to fill.

     

    Did I do something wrong

    to make you say so long?

    It’s not like me to hold

    onto something once it goes

    but still I wanted you to know

    That I miss you

    And you’re in every sound I hear

     

    Time and time again I’ve chosen this

    Buying love in 60-minute increments

    Talking myself out of permanence,

    knowing love is cruel

    and easily confused

    with chemical dependence.

     

    You’re in every sound I hear

    Yes, every sound I hear

    And time and time again

    I knew that this would end

    Yes, and end it did my dear

     

    But I did nothing wrong

    To make you say so long

    So go ahead and go then

    As your echo takes control but still

    I wanted you to know

    That you could have had me instead

    But if that’s what you want then

    You just go on ahead

    You just go on

  • 04:03 Story Lyrics
    I Dreamed

    I dreamed

    I dreamed last night that I kissed you

    You wanted me to

    I dreamed

    I wakened to your laughter on

    the breeze

    My arms were empty then

    I wish I never dreamed

     

    I dreamed

    I dreamed last night that I missed you

    You missed me, too

    I dreamed

    I ran to you with autumn on

    my sleeve

    and winter breathing in

    I wish I never dreamed

     

    And I dreamed

    I saw you wide awake

    Bursting at the seams

    calling me by name

    And every time I sleep

    I go to see that place

    I put it on repeat

    In hopes one day

    I’ll find a way to answer

     

    I dreamed

    I dreamed last night that I found you

    you led me to

    I dreamed

    when dawn comes

    I know you’ll have to leave

    my eyes will open then

    I wish I never dreamed

    my arms empty then

    I wish I never dreamed

  • 03:53 Story Lyrics
    We Were Here

    Down at the crossroads there

    I stopped to stare

    and heard a chorus in my mind

    It sang your melody:

    A memory

    I hummed along and smiled

     

    but we can’t go back

    It’s a one-way track

    Down this road that

    we call time

    and I hope you will

    remember still that

    you were here

    and so was I

     

    And then much further down

    I turned around

    To catch a glimpse of where it goes

    I heard your echo say,

    “Those were the days.”

    but everybody knows

    that we can’t go back

     

    So did you change the way

    you spell your name?

    we were silent consonants

    back there on the edge

    of carbon’s stage

    counting all of our diamonds

     

    and holy, yeah we were holy

    and wholly oblivious

  • 03:21 Story Lyrics
    The One I Love

    Do you remember me?

    I swear I’ve somewhere seen your face

    Was it an ocean or a

    potion-triggered fall from grace

     

    It’s hard to say

    What matters anyway

    It’s the wilting of

    The one I love

     

    She said that she could tell the future

    And so then I said,

    “What will I look like? Am I

    Alive or am I dead?”

     

    She said it’s hard to say

    With crystals in the way

    It’s the wilting of

    The one I love

     

    And so many thoughts

    On a tight wire walk

    I’m sure you’re wishing on me like a star

    That’s not becoming of a lady

    Who knows how to cross her legs and sit up straight

    So many thoughts…

     

    I’ve got a little hole

    It’s watering my heart today

    Considering it all I think I made it out okay

     

    But then it’s hard to say

    What matters anyway

    It’s the wilting of

    The one I love

     

    You are the image of

    The one I love

  • 04:37 Story Lyrics
    Help Me

    Help me

    I’m slipping

    I cannot see

    But I can see I’m falling

    All over the ground and

    I’m stranded again

     

    I know you’re out there somewhere

    You’re out there floating somewhere

    If you come back to me I’ll

    Give you everything I have to give

    It isn’t much, but still

    Come back down

     

    Help me

    It’s shifting

    From under me and

    Over me

    My horizon is waning

    Her bet’s on babe shock therapy

     

    I know you’re out there somewhere…

     

    Don’t leave me stranded here on this island

    of broken dolls and then I cried,

    “No man’s an island”

    If you affect me, I likewise affect you

    So please come back down

     

    I know you’re out there somewhere

    You’re out there floating somewhere

    If you come back to me I’ll

    Take you back into my arms again

    They aren’t that strong, no, but still

    Come back down

    to my arms

    you’ll be safe

  • 03:46 Story Lyrics
    Where Is the Violence

    Another flight, goodnight, I’m on my way

    Take my picture off your wall

    I’ve got business down in San Jose

    I am anything but strong

     

    Hey, Pariah, could you patch me through?

    I can’t make it on my own

    Peter Pan, now there’s a name for you

    But in the end we all got old

     

    Feeling so yellow

     

    Where is the violence that I wanted?

    And how have you been since yesterday?

    Where is the silence in the middle?

    Does he have time for one more prophecy?

    Oh

    I guess I’m just afraid I’m going to lose

    When I’ve got so much left to give

    Everybody has the right to choose,

    But I thought your choice would be different

     

    Feeling so yellow

     

    Where is the violence that I wanted?

    And how have you been since yesterday?

    Where is the silence in the middle?

    Does he have time for one more prophecy?

     

    Another flight, goodnight, I’m on my way

    Take my picture off your wall

    I am anything but strong

  • 04:16 Story Lyrics
    Aftershocks

    His earthquake shook me like a roller coaster

    on his one inch trick, well, maybe two at most.

    Oh, yeah but everybody knows

    it’s not that kind of show.

    Then it stopped just long enough

    for me to brace myself

    for the eventual aftershocks

     

    Six feet under with a hole in one

    when I mistook his smile for a smoking gun.

    He said, “You must be on

    something stronger than ibuprofen.” I call it, “How-to-ruin-everything-in-just-one-month.”

    Oh yeah, and here it comes,

    ready or not.

    If I held on more tightly, could I

    stop this from shaking?

     

    A 2-bit maybe had a hammer tongue,

    and he was banging out my heartbeat

    on a broken drum.

    I said, “I won’t take this for long.”

    How did he respond?

    “A buffet trophy for my ego shelf,” he said,

    “you’re hot dressed as a hole,

    but not as anything else.”

     

    A slut shamer bottomed all the way to the top

    of his imaginary friend. The fashion cop

    said he was down for more, but

    Blue Book said he wasn’t worth that much, and

    so we all cashed out when Midas lost his touch.

    Oh yeah, and here it comes

    ready or not.

    If I held on more tightly, could I

    stop this from shaking?

     

    A part-time sandwich with a sticky spread. Yeah, but he looked like “someone” with a capital ‘S’. You know, I had a hunch

    once that he would make the perfect mess,

    and so I went for broke no matter what he said

    oh yeah, and here it comes,

    ready or not.

    If I held on more tightly, could I

    stop this from shaking?

     

    Picking up the pieces since his insurance

    refused to pay for any of the damages done

  • 05:09 Story Lyrics
    This Again

    Then I woke up and it was wonderful

    To see the view from over there

    It’s about time,

    but there will always be more time

    to repair the broken bridge

     

    Going through the circles in my head now

    On the other side the witnesses are testifying

    against crimes of passion in a marriage

    There’s no way out

    And it’s this again

     

    then I spoke out in foreign languages

    and everyone wants everything

    a passive voice

    sentence is not as effective

    as a participle is

     

    Going through the circles in my head…

     

    It’s not enough, no,

    it’s not enough to play along

    You could have had everything that you wanted

    Now everything that you wanted is gone

    It will come back, but you’re still not enough

     

    Then I woke up and it was wonderful

    To forget everything I knew

  • 03:59 Story Lyrics
    Go Tell the Sea (Swan Song)

    Hey, go tell the sea

    I think his water may be poisoned

    but I’d still risk my life to take a drink

    and I just wanted to the chance to show

    that I could be the undertow

    to sweep him to a place he’d never seen

    and once he’d see that place he’d say

    “I wish you’d shown me yesterday,

    but I’m afraid it’s time for me to leave

    because I’m looking for a man –“

    I said,

    “I know. You’re looking for a man who isn’t me.”

     

    Hey, go tell the sea,

    that I think it might be over

    so my ugliness made friends with his debris

    and though they came here looking for a glove

    both knew that, when push came to shove,

    the ice was getting thinner by the week

    and I’ve wasted so much time here

    I wasted so much time again

    I’ve wasted so much time here on my knees

    because you’re looking for a man,

    I know you’re looking for a man who isn’t me.

     

    So, hey, go tell the sea

    that everything looks different

    now that I’m matching wits with his entropy

    but I still can’t believe that once

    again I lost my voice when

    there were so many songs left for us to sing

    and if I’d sing those songs you’d say,

    “It doesn’t matter anyway,

    and I’m afraid the time has come to leave

    because I’m looking for a man –“

    I said,

    “I know…you’ve said so many times before that you’re looking for a man who isn’t me.”

     

    Hey, go tell the sea

    I think his water’s poisoned,

    but I’d still risk my life to take a drink

  • 04:58 Story Lyrics
    Tomorrow

    Welcome in

    You caught me imagining

    the perfect way to go.

    Sunsets won’t alter the consequence

    So tell him he can wait, and

    hold me

    one night more

     

    So far

    this is more than I’d bargained for

    So transfer my phone call

    back to the first syllable

    I’m here with my hands full

    Of nothing to show at all

    because no, I don’t think that I’m ready for more

    I might have died today, but

    There’s always tomorrow

     

    Heading west,

    and into the violent reds

    that only twilight knows,

    he confessed. But, given the circumstance,

    tell him it’s too late, and

    hold me

    one night more

     

    he was a

    crepuscular twist of fate

    but then, to avoid

    the blame,

    he claimed reincarnation

    but so far, this is more than I’d bargained for

  • 04:09 Story Lyrics
    Brother John

    One less light

    Mrs. Re-genesis is on her way, hey

    She brought a little lamp

    Just in case you were waning

     

    So, is this it? How and when did you end?

    I would have grown wings and flown to your edge had I known you were falling

    just keep breathing

    are you sleeping, brother john?

    brother john

    my brother john

     

    warm tattoo

    I etched a map to you in my scars it’s

    a mirror image of where you are

    My constellation

     

    So is this it? How and when did you end?

    And I swear I’ll watch for your star overhead

    until every tomorrow

    because I know, somewhere out there,

    that your heart is still beating

    just keep breathing

    are you sleeping, brother john?

    brother john

    my brother john

     

    One less light

    Mrs. Re-genesis is on her way

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